More than ten years ago in 2005, HFH Vietnam began its partnership with the People’s Committee, Women’s Union (KWU) and Union of Friendship Organization (KUFO) of Kien Giang province to carry out a microfinance program. This program worked to establish a revolving fund offering loans to poor families for incremental house construction, repairs/renovation, and construction of toilets, water and sanitation facilities. Over the last ten years, more than $1 million worth of loans have been disbursed resulting in over 5,300 loans for subsequent home repairs/renovation or new toilets, water and sanitation facilities installed. In just three recent years after the fund transition to KWU so that KWU is the main implementer of the project, more than 1,000 loans were disbursed through the revolving fund demonstrating increased community awareness around the importance of decent housing and water/sanitation, as well as highlighting the dedicated commitment of the local partners to improve the community.
Today, April 13th 2016, HFH Vietnam, KWU and KUFO jointly organized mid-term review meeting of the program period 2013 – 2017 before fully handed over the management of the Kien Giang revolving fund to the local partners. This milestone serves as a testament to the long term commitment and sustainability of HFH Vietnam’s programs and partnerships.
One beneficiary of the Kien Giang revolving fund is Mr. Hua Hoang Son. The family of Mr. Hua Hoang Son 58 & Chau Ngoc Quy, 54 are about to welcome a new member to the family with the upcoming marriage of their son, Dien. According to Vietnamese tradition, the newlywed couple will live with the husband’s family (Dien’s parents). Now, with their decent house Son and his family have built from the loan, the entire family can live together. This did not seem to be likely three years ago.
Mr. Son and Ms. Quy have 2 daughters and 2 sons. Before the new house, five family members were living together in tiny house, including the parents, 1 daughter and 2 sons. One of their daughters got married and moved away to live with her husband’s family. Their house had thatched roof & walls and they lived with a dirt floor. The Son family had lived in the original house for more than 10 years before they were approved for a loan from HFHV to build a new house. The family received a modest loan of VND 8,000,000 loan (~ US$ 400), but the small loan left a big impact on their family. With the loan, the family created a customized and affordable repayment plan of VND 667,000 (US$ 33) every 3 months.
‘We didn’t have much savings so we couldn’t build a new house even though we were in desperate need of a decent one,’ Quy said. ‘My husband and I are farmers with a monthly income of less than VND 1,000,000/month (US$45) and during the harvest season it increases to VND 3,000,000/month (US$ 130). One of my sons had to go to the big city [Ho Chi Minh City] to look for a job. We were so happy when our loan was approved. With the loan, and money we borrowed from our neighbors and relatives, we started building the best home of our life.’
They have now successfully paid off all the entire loan, within the due date, as a way of showing their thankfulness to HFH Vietnam for granting the loan.
‘My granddaughter was 3 year-old when the house was being built. She is 6 now and although she doesn’t live with us, she likes the house a lot and tells us she is always excited to visit and stay us,’ Quy told us. ‘The house now has enough space for her to play and study, as well.’
The new house has created new dreams and opportunity for Son’s family. The family is now expanding their farm by growing more mango trees. Dien, who previously needed to find work in Ho Chi Minh City, can now can find a job in town while living at home and helping his parents on the farm. ‘The loan was so helpful to us,’ Quy said. ‘We are going to apply for another loan to build a healthy toilet. Poor families like us need the program so please continue.’